The following free, online courses will open for registration on FutureLearn, the first UK-led MOOC (massive open online course) provider.
University of Sheffield
Start date: 02 June
Lead Educator: Susan Fitzmaurice, Head of the School of English; and James Fitzmaurice, Director of Distance Learning
This course will be an introduction to literature from 450 years of English country-house history and how that literature shapes our understanding of country houses. We’re going to travel on a historical journey through literature, visiting notable country houses around Yorkshire and Derbyshire. You’ll gain insight into life in these country houses and will learn about some common misconceptions. You will see the magnificent seventeenth-century wall paintings at Bolsover Castle, often held to be the best of their kind in England. You will visit Haddon Hall, a house frozen in the time of William Shakespeare and an inspiration for the great Gothic novelist, Ann Radcliffe. We’ll be using a wide range of texts spanning the history of literature from Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ to Oscar Wilde’s ‘Canterville Ghost’. Along the way we will examine sections from a play by Shakespeare, poetry by Margaret Cavendish, and brief passages from novels by Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. We will even look at fiction by a country house resident Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.
University of Nottingham
Start date: 16 June
Lead Educator: Dr Sarah Speight, Academic Lead for Sustainability
Sustainability is one of the big global issues of our time. It is crucial that we all play our part in protecting our world for current and future generations. This course provides you with the knowledge and skills to do this by investigating sustainability from multiple angles and exploring what small steps you can take to have a real impact upon all our futures. This course provides an introduction to the values and principles associated with sustainability and will equip you with some of the knowledge and understanding required to make sustainable decisions in your personal and professional life
University of Glasgow
Start date: 23 June
Lead educator: Christian Tams, International Law Chair; Robin Geiss, Professor of International Law and Security; and Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Lecturer in International Law
Over six weeks this course will deliver an awareness of the role of international law in disputes transcending national borders. It will centre on specific, high-profile disputes, with whose broad contours you are likely to be familiar. The sessions will include case studies on Guantanamo Bay, lethal drone strikes, weapons of mass destruction in the Syrian conflict, counter-piracy operations, international terrorism and investment disputes. The purpose of this course is to assess whether, and to what extent, international law has been a factor in the resolution of international controversies. During this course you will begin to learn about the role and the limits of international law as a tool for influencing behaviour and for settling disputes. As part of this, you’ll get the chance to develop the strategic and critical thinking necessary to engage with legal problems and contemporary debates.
University of Reading
Start date: 06 October
Lead Educator: Steve Thomas, Director of In-sessional Support Programme
This course was developed to help you learn the basics of academic writing and develop your English skills for study in the UK, US, Australia or other countries where English is used. This course will provide you with a brief introduction to academic writing, enabling you to gain an awareness and understanding of some key features of this kind of writing. You will develop some proficiency in a few key areas of ‘academic’ grammar, learn about the stages in essay writing, and produce an essay of your own. We will teach you how to organise an essay, use academic writing style and cover key areas of grammar, so that by the end of the course you are able to write a good, basic academic essay.